February is a month of celebrating love – valentines, husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends, children. As we entered the month (after a seemingly endless January!), I realized how quick I am to jump immediately to celebrating my children and husband. But, there is one other very small group of people who deserve a love shout out – the friends who have stuck around.
Friendship can be really hard to navigate when you’re in the trenches of motherhood, especially when your group of friends has a wide variety of lifestyles and relationships. It’s also really hard when you realize that no matter how hard you try, some friends just seem to disappear. Some will leave loudly, with a bang, and when you reflect, you know exactly what went wrong. Others leave quietly, slipping away so silently that you can’t help but wonder what happened. Life events tear some away while differences of opinion force others apart. I’m a firm believer that people come into your life for a reason and unfortunately with friendships, not all of them are there for the long haul.
To those friends who stick around no matter what, though – this is for you. I’m sending so much love your way this February. You’re my mom and friend valentine, all the time! I’m not saying all friendships are meant to be or need to be long lasting, but to know you have a few of those in your life is irreplaceable.
The funny thing is, these friendships can look so different from person to person. When I think of those that I consider closest to me, I have friends without kids, moms of multiple children, and women who live across the country that I still manage to talk to daily. Despite the difference in lifestyle, parenting, or proximity to each other, I know that these women are the ones that I can count on to hang out when they make plans to and answer a text or phone call when it’s most needed. They’re straightforward and offer no excuses. They check in on me (and me on them!) which, to be honest, is kind of nice when you’re a mom and always looking after others. Sometimes all it takes to brighten your mood is knowing your friend thought of you enough to ask you how you’re doing on a random afternoon.
The most important thing about these friendships is they are authentic. I can go to them with the darkest corners of my brain and I don’t fear being judged or cast away. Their friendship isn’t just about the “good” that you see on the surface level or the smoke and mirrors everyone puts out on social media. Their friendship is about the down and dirty crap, the things you hate yourself for even thinking about, especially with everything life throws at you trying to tear you down. You can tell these friends all of this stuff and not fear that your friendship will end because of it. Maybe they give you tough love and put you in your place, or maybe they just tell you they’ll always be there for you, but whatever they do, the friendship grows stronger and remains.
So, to the friends who have stuck around…thank you. I love you! We should all take some time to send some love to the friends who have stuck with us, cheering us on through good times and bad, because they most definitely deserve it.